Last weekend’s series of friendly matches in Seoul, South Korea was a fantastic success, a fine example of the camaraderie, friendship and high standard of play that defines the Thunderbirds brand. We are proud of how the players and families represented the entire membership of the STMHA – on and off the ice.
On the ice our teams posted a combined 8-‐4 record through spirited, tough and intense battles – and at all times respected their opponents and demonstrated the principles of fair play. What a sight it was having the teams in the same facility, cheering each other on – from the unending enthusiasm and smiles of the U10, to the thrill of the U12 discovering the players they are becoming, to the U15 showing us all the elite level of play made possible through hard work and dedication.
Off the ice the families enjoyed a theatrical presentation that thrilled all ages followed by a traditional Korean barbecue dinner that left many a little bit fuller than they might have planned – a common result when combing hockey families and fine cuisine. Most importantly it looked like our new Thunderbirds families thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Such a huge success would not have been possible without the great efforts of the key organizers. First, thanks to Kevin Parker for championing the event. Then to our Team Managers Lindsey Eliason, Emily Yu and Edna Chan for getting us there and keeping us organized at all times. And finally to Mr. Soon Kim, our extraordinary host that arranged the on-‐ice matches, off-‐ice entertainment and for 48 straight hours went out of his way to personally attend to all of our needs -‐ we loved your new facility, and look forward to future invitations!
Looking forward to resumption of full operations here in Shanghai, we would like to update the membership
on recent decisions taken regarding the SSB.
During the SGM the BoD’s opposition to joining the SSB League was based on two essential points –
- The originally communicated SSB schedule interfered with our STMHA published schedule, so league participation would not represent incremental ice-‐time and would be substitutional for a portion of our planned schedule
- The league is strictly competitive, player development and fair & equal play are not a SSB League focus. Thus, substituting the new league for our own House League development programs would be inappropriate
Since the SGM, facts regarding scheduling have become clearer and it now appears that the proposed SSB League schedule will not conflict with our planned schedule, thus making the ice time incremental to STMHA programs.
That said, the league focus remains competitive in nature, no different than the tournaments our Select teams are sent to – thus the BoD has decided to enter our U10 and U12 Select teams in the SSB League, and the Select teams themselves will absorb all of the associated costs with no financial contribution from the STMHA as this is no different than when Select teams participate in tournaments.
Beyond the incremental competition, the BoD also sees a strategic element in this decision in terms of the STMHA maintaining a collaborative posture, and continuing our involvement with other local minor hockey clubs to assist in setting the local Shanghai hockey agenda.
It will be important for all of us to remember that the SSB League is an experiment we are undertaking with
the understanding that there will undoubtedly be hiccups as we implement the details. Upon the conclusion of the inaugural season the BoD will re-‐evaluate and determine if future participation is warranted.
Please also note that we will be registering as many of our House League players with the League as possible. Although it is not our intention at this time to dress House League players, we are registering additional
players in the event that backup players are required – and this will also facilitate the participation of potential new Select players at the conclusion of our next Select Program try-‐outs in January as registration with the league now, runs for the entire league season December to April.
Group 2 and Group 3 Managers will be in contact with players shortly – if you will not be at the rink this weekend please contact your team manager directly.